Senior Electrical Engineer

About Novasentis

Novasentis is the leading supplier of the world’s thinnest and most flexible polymer-based haptic actuators. The patented electro-mechanical polymer (EMP) technology and products are ideal for creating rich haptic feedback and a completely new user experience for smart watches, AR/VR, gaming controllers, and similar human interface applications. Founded in 2006 to commercialize this unique EMP technology, Novasentis was restructured in 2015 to focus on these markets. Novasentis received D series funding in early 2018, an investment made by key manufacturing partner, Kemet. It is privately held and headquartered in Berkeley, California with research facilities State College, PA, and partner facilities in Europe. More information on Novasentis is available at www.novasentis.com..

Position Description

In this Senior Electrical Engineering (EE) position (ideal degrees in EE), you will develop test platforms, from custom board level design to integrated systems. The ideal candidate will be capable of custom circuit development from idea to prototype. This EE will be able to drive chip designers who are building our power driver electronics. You will design, build, troubleshoot, test, validate and benchmark complete solutions to characterize actuator performance both electrically and mechanically. You will also provide expertise to develop and manage solutions for data collection and analysis of actuator performance. The ideal candidate has a broad knowledge of product development including hardware, firmware, and software. You will be comfortable working in an environment that uses Matlab and LabVIEW.

You will also work with others to perform extensive data analyitics on actuator performance using data from our functional test system, including designing, building, testing and rolling out to customers our COTS DAQ systems (NI cards, chassis, integration, testing, trouble-shooting system issues). Updating and improving this system with novel approaches to are central to this position.

The ideal candidate will have experience in a research environment and be comfortable working to characterize electronic components for electrical and mechanical performance, characterizing and evaluating product reference designs for customer demonstrations and prototypes. Additionally, you will provide expertise to develop and manage solutions for data collection and analysis of haptic actuator characterization, supporting applications in wearables, augmented reality, virtual reality, and gaming devices. The ideal candidate has a broad knowledge in scientific method and experimentation while leveraging hardware, firmware, and software. The job may require travel to visit customers with Sales, Marketing and other team members, primarily to customers based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Essential Job Functions include

  • Collaborate and drive external design teams (Vendor partners such as Microchip, mixed mode chip designers and consulting electrical engineers) to develop custom IC chips, evaluation boards and customer specific boards used to power and drive our actuator (driver electronics)
  • Lead effort to maintain and update existing COTS DAQ systems (NationaI Instruments modules, integration, documentation, trouble-shooting)
  • Use Matlab to develop scripts for custom experiments on actuators and actuators integrated on flex circuits
  • Perform data analysis in Matlab (including failure analysis related to electrical and mechanical response)
  • Excelent documentation skills: develop specifications, datasheets, design guides as well as report generation
  • Testing actuator integrations for perceivability in various reference designs and form factors (sleeves, gloves, heart rate monitors, wearables, headsets)
  • Hands-on EE work (soldering, board bring-up, trouble shooting boards, oscilloscopes, test equipment.)
  • Closely work with internal and external customers
  • Devise innovative techniques for testing and characterizing for customer solutions
  • Collaborate with operations and manufacturing teams to design and develop test fixtures and methodologies for characterizing product at the manufacturing scale.
  • Use automated data analytics software to develop and refine electrical models of the actuator, driven by an understanding of the underlying mechanism and fundamental equations that represent the component.

Required Job Qualifications:

  • 5+ years of experience working as a Electrical Engineer
  • Experienced with discrete and IC analog, mixed-signal and power electronics.
  • Experienced with circuit schematic, familarity with PCB layout and component selection
  • Highly motivated individual with a passion for creative thinking in use cases of disruptive products
  • Technical experience with hardware, firmware, and software
  • Working knowledge of realizing solutions from abstract ideas
  • Expertiese in data analysis using MATLAB
  • Comfort with hands on data collection using available instrumentaiton
  • Working knowledge of performing data analytics (ideally on haptics or sensors)
  • Excellent team work and people skill across departments for development and/or marketing efforts
  • Project or cross-functional team leadership and mentorship.
  • Solid communication skills, both verbal and written

Ways to stand out from the crowd:

  • A Ph.D. or Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering or an equivalent
  • Experience in use of Haptic in AR, VR or wearables
  • Expertiese in Matlab, exposure to or comfort with LabVIEW
  • Firmware and software development experience is highly beneficial
  • Comfortable with at least one scripting language (C#, Python, Bash, Perl, Ruby,...)
  • Previous design experience in ferroelectrics, capacitors and/or piezoelectric devices.
  • Previous experience in a startup environment and consumer electronics space.
  • Experience with taking products through all development phases, from prototype to small and large scale manufacturing.
  • Comfortable with working with teams across timezones and geographic locations.
  • Experience in designing and development of electrical and mechanical measurement instrumentation.
  • Familarity with audio formats e.g. .wav and audio software tools.
  • Ability to adapt and be comfortable in a fast-paced and changing work environment.